Monday, December 13, 2010

Fifteen minutes of fame, by proxy

As I wrote a month or so ago, my car got a gig as a background actor on CSI (Original Vegas version).  On December 9 it aired, and my nondescript Corolla had it's big moments on the small screen.

Here it is in it's first scene.  This is part of the setup- we see the stressed-out woman who will be the primary murder victim buying groceries at night.  The camera breaks away and shows my car driving by outside the grocery store, for an establishing shot.  (It's not me driving it, my friend is a background actor and he borrowed it for the day.)

For the keeners among you, here's the video!

Then there's around 40 minutes of dullness until my car's next scenes, which are at the climax where they explain the crime.

Now, don't be distracted by the gun at the left, or the two murder-victims to be... see the backdrop?  That's my Corolla!

Here's the grocery bagger going down:

There's his body lying on the ground in front of... my car!  Phew, no bullet holes!

Here's the murderer shooting the woman one last time for good measure:

Again, video if you want to see it all go down:

OK, third scene.  My friend says this is filmed at an intersection that's kept open to regular traffic.  The three cars (there's a third that doesn't make it into the frame) drive to a gas station nearby where the assistant director gives them instructions on what to do when they go through the intersection.  One of the instructions is to drive carefully, as they're on regular streets and the car has fake plates on it (they switched it to Nevada plates for the day, although they never show up on camera.)  The assistant director was in the Corolla with my friend.

Anyway, the scene is of the killer, who is driving the van, being caught on surveillance video.  That's my car behind him.  The other three cars at the intersection are just people in L.A. going about their business as part of a show is being filmed in front of them.

There's my car after the van had turned out of the frame:

The video:

If you're wondering what a car earns for the day, it's $15 extra on the background actor's paycheque.  Yeah, that much!  I guess it's an economical way to provide cars for a set- have the poorest paid, lowest status workers bring them to work for an extra $15.  Still, my friend says it was a lot of fun.  As a Corolla-wrangler he was more a part of things and in a different way than he usually was as a background actor.  Funny thing is, that he didn't actually show up himself anywhere on this episode!  He had been playing a bystander at some daytime scenes when the bodies were lying around in the sun, but was cropped out of the shot in the end.   I had teased him before that they didn't really want him, it was the Corolla they were after...


  1. Cool! Did they pay you to use your car? It wasn't just background, it drove in front of the store in the first clip...

  2. Whoops, that's what happens when you don't read all the way to the end...15 whole dollars!!